Ted Nash, Still Evolved

Britt Robson

By Britt Robson

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Still Evolved

Ted Nash
Vintage songcraft combined with modernistic wrinkles.

The sax-trumpet tandems on Still Evolved might be as memorably compelling as the classic horns on the Blue Note records and Miles Davis quintets of the '60s. Credit Nash, who combines vintage songcraft with modernistic wrinkles (he wrote all eight tracks), then delivers wry, angular tenor phrases with a creativity that goads cerebral guest stars like Wynton Marsalis, who has never sounded better in a non-leadership capacity. “The Shooting Star” moves back and forth from alert to startled, “Still Evolved,” is imbued with a raucous blues-swing reminiscent of Charles Mingus, and “Bells of Brescia,” is a perfectly timed, somber change of pace. Trumpeter Marcus Printup is a pretty fair substitute on the three songs Wynton sits out, and the Uptown rhythm section — drummer Matt Wilson, bassist Ben Allison, pianist Frank Kimbrough — is more on-point than pointy-headed keeping an elastic groove.